Curtsy app continues to expand its reach

Carrie Tye using the Curtsy app. Photo by Margaux Pope.

Margaux Pope
Oxford Stories

Along with the rest of the world, the fashion industry has evolved with technology to keep up with new trends.

Curtsy is an app used around the country that allows women to rent clothes online instead of spending money on an outfit that will not be used often.

Customer Carrie Tye, 20, said she heard about Curtsy her freshman year of college at the University of Mississippi.

“The app began getting a lot of attention, since the founders graduated from Ole Miss,” said the Athens, Georgia native, “so I thought it would be cool to look into it, even if I didn’t like any of the clothes.”

Tye fell in love with the app and began putting her clothes on the site for others to rent.

“I heard it was a good and easy way to make money,” she said, “and that’s what most college students are looking for. The app is so much easier than having to go out and buy something expensive you won’t wear a lot.”

Curtsy has a team of men and women around the country located mostly in college towns. The app enables women to rent clothing from each other.

The two founders, William Ault and Sara Kiparizoska, created the app in 2015 while attending the UM. It began at UM’s research park, Insight Park, where the app was created for experimental use. Curtsy even has an Oxford office.

Curtsy enables women to set their own prices for their clothing. Along with personal commission, Curtsy receives 30 percent of the profit from the transaction. Customers are also charged with a $5 upfront fee that covers potential damages.

Tye said the app has changed since she first used it.

“There are more clothing options that include articles of clothing besides dresses,” she said. “The app now has a try-on period, meaning you can try on the dress before you decide to rent it, which is a recent addition.”

Curtsy is set up like Instagram. Users can “like” pictures of clothing they are be interested in. The main page is like a closet that contains the most popular items, the latest trends, and holiday featured clothing.

There is also a bar along the top of the app that enables women to choose what kind of clothing they are looking for – casual dresses, formal dresses, rompers, two piece sets, tops, bottoms and costumes.

Gracie Crumpton, 21, is a member of the Oxford Curtsy team. The Clarksdale native is a UM junior who became involved with the business her sophomore year.

“A friend offered me a position on their management team,” she said. “I had been a huge fan of Curtsy and used it for all of my date parties freshman year, so I figured why not become part of something that I love and use religiously.”

Being a part of the management team means Gracie will conduct “fashion shows” where she sets up clothing at a sorority house or apartment. Women can browse the clothing and try it on. Gracie is also responsible for some Instagram posts.

The app is designed to alter the fashion world by supplying women with affordable and readily available clothing options. Not only is it popular for college students, but young professionals working full-time jobs also use it.

It offers a variety of clothing options for different occasions. The app is free to download and easy to set up. Users may sign up with their email or through Facebook, and the app syncs to the smartphone’s location services, finding clothing in the area where the user resides.

What makes Curtsy special is that it is “hyperlocal,” meaning the clothes women rent are from the area in which they live. Instead of shipping clothing, women may meet up and exchange the clothing in person, saving money and time.

Curtsy has a main Instagram page that posts pictures of women all around the country and trends. Other Instagram pages are unique to a specific college town.

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